Volta Trucks reveals the first running Volta Zero prototype chassis, uniquely designed and built at industry-leading pace

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Volta Trucks, the leading start-up electric commercial vehicle manufacturer, has revealed the first running prototype chassis of the Volta Zero – the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle designed specifically for inner city logistics.

The unveiling coincides with the Volta Zero demonstrator vehicle’s public debut at ITT Hub conference in Farnborough, UK.

This major milestone in the company’s journey has been achieved at industry-leading pace.

Key points

  • Volta Trucks unveils its running prototype chassis using production specification components.
  • Running prototype chassis designed and developed in just six months.
  • The chassis is the foundation of Volta Trucks unique design and functionality, building a sustainable truck that addresses the health and safety challenges of both driver and the urban environment around the truck.
  • Volta Trucks on track towards starting series production in December 2022.

The first running Volta Zero prototype chassis has been designed and built using the proposed production specification frame and drivetrain components of the finished vehicle. This includes the high-voltage battery supplied by Proterra, and the compact eAxle – the integrated rear axle, electric motor and transmission unit, from Meritor. The Volta Zero will be Europe’s first commercial vehicle to use an innovative eAxle for increased efficiency and vehicle range. 

“In six months, we have designed and developed a running prototype and 18 months, we will be building production vehicles for customers. This is what they need, this is the speed they need us to work at, and this is what we’ll deliver” 

Essa Al-Saleh, Chief Executive Officer, Volta Trucks

The Volta Zero was launched in September 2020, and its innovative safety-focused design and sustainability objectives have been positively received by customers and city legislators alike. The demonstrator vehicle shown at launch is currently being presented to customers at the Innovation and Technology in Transport (ITT) Hub conference in Farnborough, UK. 

The new prototype chassis adds the proposed production-specification frame and drivetrain and will be able to drive at normal road speeds. The prototype chassis is due to start a comprehensive testing programme on proving grounds soon, with learnings taken into the production of a Pilot Fleet of vehicles expected to be delivered in late 2021.

Chief Executive Officer of Volta Trucks, Essa Al-Saleh, said: “The reveal of our first running prototype Volta Zero chassis is a major milestone on our journey to producing the first customer-specification vehicles in around 18 months’ time. The prototype will provide our designers and engineers with feedback and real-world data on the vehicle performance.

“These vehicles will be tested by Volta Trucks engineers as well as being evaluated by key customers who have signed up for both testing and the option on the series production, to develop their understanding of how the Volta Zero will integrate into their operations. Full-scale production of customer-specification vehicles will then follow at the end of 2022.

“The learning from the prototype will also feed into the Pilot Fleet vehicles that will support our customer’s understanding of the electrification of their fleets. But this is also a great example of the nimble and agile culture and approach we have at Volta Trucks.

“While traditional vehicle manufacturers take years to undertake market assessments, design processes and vehicle development, at Volta Trucks, we work at speed because we know that the world’s climate emergency cannot wait, and our customers need vehicles now.

“In six months, we have designed and developed a running prototype chassis and 18 months from now, we will be building series production vehicles for our customers. This is what they need, this is the speed they need us to work at, and this is what we’ll deliver.” 

About the Volta Zero

The Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne vehicle designed for inner-city logistics, reducing the environmental impact of freight deliveries in city centres. Designed from the ground up with an operating pure-electric range of 150 – 200 kms (95 – 125 miles), the Volta Zero will eliminate an estimated 1.2M tonnes of CO2 by 2025.

Safety is also at the heart of Volta Trucks, with its ambition of producing the safest trucks for our cities. The Volta Zero was designed for electric from the outset, which facilitates a step-change in vehicle, driver and pedestrian safety. Thanks to the removal of the internal combustion engine, the operator of a Volta Zero sits in a central driving position, with a much lower seat height than a conventional truck. This combination, plus a glass house-style cab design, gives the driver a wide 220-degrees of visibility, minimising dangerous blind spots. The prototype Volta Zero was launched in September 2020, with the first vehicles expected to be operating with customers in late 2021. 

About Volta Trucks

Volta Trucks is a start-up full-electric goods vehicle manufacturer and services company. Volta Trucks has offices in Sweden, France and the UK and is partnering with a number of global leaders in the supply chain for the development and production of the Volta Zero. 

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